On Sunday my husband cleaned out part of the basement. He found a remote control helicopter and took it out for a spin.
It really was a beautiful day: blue skies, light warm breeze, and a Charlie Brown tree waiting to snatch the helicopter in its branches. It wasn’t just any old tree; it was the tallest tree on the block.
I was upstairs putting laundry away and I watched as my husband tried to get the helicopter free remotely. He jiggled the controls this way and that, but the tree wasn’t letting go.
My husband headed back to the house and I saw him re-appear with a ladder. He called for our son to help. Hmmm. I was transfixed at the upstairs window. A couple stopped. The wife moved away, phone in hand, but the man stayed, watching as my husband brought the pole of our snow removing pole over to the ladder.
He looked like he was carrying Quixote’s lance, and perhaps it was the quixotic lure, or maybe the almost sure personal injury event that was about to take place, that lured out two lawyer neighbors.
The ladder was set up under the helicopter, offers were thrown about:
“Hey, want me to go get my ladder? I think it’s taller?”
“Want me to go up? I’m taller than you…?”
“Shouldn’t your son be doing that…?”
My son shook his head quickly and I could see he was telling the man that he would be holding the ladder and that the ladder should be firmly supported as his father climbed it.
Up my husband went to the top rung, the three men and my son holding the ladder.
I started thinking of the castells they do in the Catalonia area of Spain: the human towers, this could be an event.
The ladder swayed suggestively as my husband swung – and missed – and then swung again at the branches beneath the helicopter. The men moaned. The ladder creaked. Now a bigger swing, with more momentum, and a solid, “thwamp!” the helicopter started its descent through the branches, leaf buds following it as it fell.
The men congratulated one another. They stood a few moments, proud of freeing the ensnared helicopter. The wife who was waiting? She exclaimed, “That’s an angry bird!”